Friday, June 6, 2014

103. Wind When It's Hot

The day we got to Falls Village, Connecticut, was one of those days where the air had been stolen away and replaced with greasy butter. The humidity was so heavy and thick that we were completely wrapped up in its sweaty, horrible embrace. Every step took double the effort, simply because the air was less aerodynamic than usual, and resisted our attempts to walk through it. The temperature was hovering somewhere in the 90's. Luckily this is the type of weather that mosquitos adore, so we were getting lots of affectionate love nibbles from our winged friends.

Whistle, Grim, Dumptruck and I were completely miserable. We knew that at the end of the day the trail would take us through Falls Village, a small Connecticut town that boasted an adorable hippie coffee chop called the Toy Maker's Cafe, and a library in the shape of a small castle. Furthermore, we were slated to get picked up in town by Whistle's aunt who lived nearby, and taken to her home to swim in the lake, feed the sheep, and eat food cooked on a real-life stove. We didn't have very far to go, but sometimes the looming promise of air conditioning makes it even harder to tolerate the heat.

There was no wind at all. The air was stagnant, rich and pungent with the smells of summer and heat. The trees felt incredibly close, like the forest was crowding in around my body, trying to give me even more warmth than I could possibly handle. I was keenly aware of my own accumulated body odor, as there was no wind to whisk it away from me, and I was unable to hike fast enough to get away from my own cloud. My hands were slick with sweat, and gripping my hiking poles felt like trying to hold onto pair of damp, angry eels. I haven't ever tried to hold onto a pair of damp, angry eels, but I imagine that it would be unpleasant, and probably not very nice to the eels.

We came to an uphill that led up through a skinny crevice in a gigantic boulder. At the top of the boulder, the trail emerged maybe 20 feet higher than it had been before. As I approached the opening to start my ascent, I was greeted by small, gentle tickling of a breeze. Could it be? Could there be wind up there? I didn't want to hope, but just as I had decided not to disappoint myself, there came a shout from Dumptruck, who had already emerged at the top of the boulder.

He just screamed a few choice expletives followed by some insane laughter and then the word WIND! WIND! yelled at the top of his lungs.

We liked to do our best to add to the ambiance of the natural forest setting.

Dumptruck took a photo of me as I made my way up through the crack in the rock, and you can't see the insane grin that was starting to spread across my face, which is good, because that might have negatively impacted the artistic integrity of the photo. With each step, I felt the wind start to pick up, gently rolling over my soaking wet skin. My arm hairs began to stand on end with goosebumps, which is impressive because my arm hairs are plentiful and thick as a gorilla's.

When I got to the top, I stood for a moment with my eyes closed, just letting the breeze wash over me. It felt like kisses from 1,000 angels. I'm sure it was only 2 or 3 degrees cooler that it had been below, but the context made it feel like so much more than that. I remembered, only briefly, how plagued I had been by wind in the winter. I thought for a moment about how Mother Nature is beautiful, fickle and unpredictable... and she doesn't give a flying fart where you are or what you're doing, she'll blow that wind around if she wants to blow it around.

Click on this to make it big and beautiful!
This is available as a print through the print shop here:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/180089755/a-hiker-climbing-up-through-a-gap-in-the

Love,
Clever Girl


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